Thursday, May 26, 2011

Play With Better People

‘Play with better people’, wrote Cousin Roger in a recent letter. Certain things spark memories long past, for me. This statement impressed me lots and reminded me of college on more than one account.

1] I lived in the dormitories my first year at UC Santa Barbara. Dudes two doors down from me smoked out hard the first night of school. [Smoked out not of the tobacco variety, but of the dope variety.] The waft emanating from their dorm room was abundant and unmistakable. They did the same on night #2 and successive nights. The trend remained a constant.

When we crossed paths in the hallways, dining commons, and community bathrooms, the dudes and I, we offered a courtesy ‘hello’ in passing. You know, a guys gotta be polite. They didn’t last the year at university. There was possibly an academic issue leading to that result. I didn’t play with them while we lived in proximity, I sought better people. People not functional dependent on the herbal delight.

2] In my third of five college years I lived in an apartment building loaded with college students and cockroaches in every unit. Fun times, all the students, and the cockroaches didn’t bother me nearly as much as they should have. After a weekend visiting my folks at home I returned with a box of cookies from grandma. It was Sunday night and I made a few visitations offering cookies to chums in my apartment building. One fellow, a roommate of a friend, declined the cookie but said, “Wait, I want to show you something.”

I sat on the couch watching Sunday night television and ate a cookie. He returned with a pistol, beaming with pride, was he. “You want to hold it,” he asked sliding it across the coffee table.

“No, thanks,” I said, “I’m good.” Cookie down, commercial break on the tv, and I exited into the cool safe night. I found better people to play with. People not haphazardly suggesting guests handle the contents of their munition’s chamber in an effort to impress.

‘Better people’, they’re amongst my favorite.